Thingish Things

Good Luck, Gray Lady

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Mar• 18•11

I’ve had my share of disagreements with The New York Times editorial page over the years, but all I can say on the Gray Lady’s move to a pay wall later this month is “best of luck.”

It’s going to cost me $20 bucks a month to subscribe to the Times via IPad, but I will do so happily. That’s a bargain — less than I paid for a month’s worth of the hard copy Times 25 years ago.

The Times bean-counting staff is smart in how they are pursuing this. They are allowing occasional readers free access to 20 stories per month, and all readers can access an unlimited number of links forwarded to them by friends. In other words, it’s a sieve of loopholes to ease the public into the idea of paying for content again. Dropping an iron curtain on content would probably have been a critical mistake.

The entire publishing world will be watching to see how the Times does in this endeavor. If it fails, and fails badly, Americans can expect the quality of news coverage in the foreseeable future to decline precipitously. Quality newspapers require highly-trained journalists, and they need to feed their families, too. Whether you like The New York Times and what it represents or not, you should root unreservedly for its success later this month. Otherwise you’ll be relying on half-witted blogs like this one for your daily reading. That would be a disaster.

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  1. Me says:

    Wouldn’t it though? 🙂

  2. Your Friend says:

    You’ve probably learned this in your recent tech venture, but they wouldn’t have to be charging if readers like us would simply click on ads on their site. The reason ad revenue is so low for online publications is because the metrics on click-throughs is so poor. So we need to teach readers to “click to save.” The more we click on ads, the more the ad industry will realize the value of online advertising. It really surprised me to learn this since an advertiser can put an ad for a new movie on the NYT Movie section and when I open it, I see it. Doesn’t that sound even better than Nielsen metrics? It’s certainly more targeted. But they don’t count it unless we click on the ad. It’s as if a TV ad wouldn’t be counted unless we clicked on it. Doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ve taken to clicking on ads. Even yours, which all seem to be for some conservative rag…

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